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My friend Matt and I — both non-religious Jews — like to play a game called “Jews Don’t Do That,” which basically entails creating a running list of things Jews don’t do. For example: Jews don’t go hunting; Jews don’t become cops or firemen; Jews don’t join the Boy Scouts; Jews don’t play football; Jews don’t own pick-up trucks; and so on.
And boy oh boy, Jews really don’t do NASCAR.
But I struck a small blow for Yids at the track yesterday, as I attended the Daytona 500 with Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl (that’s him standing next to me in the photo above, with both of us wearing our noise-canceling headphones). It was my first NASCAR experience of any kind. Ek, who lives in north Florida, is a huge racing fan and has been bugging me to come to Daytona for ages. This year I finally took him up on it. (I flew down on Saturday afternoon, so I wasn’t at the track for the horrific crash that took place that day.)
The race included a bone fide Uni Watch moment: At one point Juan Pablo Montoya, who drives car No. 42, was involved in a wreck, and his car was taken to the garage for repairs. When he returned, his right door had been replaced. But the “2” from his “42” had been on the door, so his crew had to create a makeshift numeral out of white tape.
I’ll have more to say about my Daytona experience later this week on ESPN.com. All I want to day for now is that John and his lovely wife, Amy, were incredibly gracious hosts and gave me best introduction to NASCAR a
Jew guy could want. Their hospitality was all the more impressive given that they’re expecting their first child in three weeks. Thanks, guys — you’re the best.
Today I’m flying home and catching up on stuff. See you tomorrow.
Show & Tell update: Objects and stories from the latest installment of my monthly Show & Tell event are now available for your perusal.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Purim began on Saturday night, which presumably explains this awesome jersey (big thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … In case you missed it over the weekend, here’s the Orioles’ very underwhelming memorial patch for Earl Weaver. … My buddy Ken Davidoff interviewed Mets first base coach Tom Goodwin last week. Goodwin was one of MLB’s grandfathered 42ers when the number was retired in 1997, and a good chunk of the interview is about that. Check it out here. … Here’s a look at what might be the Red Wings’ phantom Winter Classic jersey. … New logo for Paris Saint-Germain (from Eli Louri). … Also from Eli: Gotta love these Lego ballplayers. … Flyers winger Sean Couturier, who wears No. 14, lost one of his helmet numerals the other day (screen shot by Gregg Cook). … The Modena volleyball team in Italy has been using superhero-themed libero uniforms (from Marco Scurati). … This is interesting: a New Jersey Giants pennant! (Good find by Mark Peterson.) … “I work IT for a high school in West Texas,” says John Baugh. “The other day I was in the field house doing some computer upgrades when I spotted these two Schutt helmets. The main thing that caught my eye were the front clip structure and the extended areas of the facemask towards the top. Never seen anything like that before. A quick search on the Schutt website shows that this is the new Schutt Vengeance DCT helmet. They call the facemask a ‘raised eyebrow’ design, supposedly to reduce and disperse impact at the faceguard level to keep the plastic shell from taking on as much of the impact.” … Oregon State will unveil new football uniforms on March 4. … New lacrosse uniforms for Loyola. They wore that design over the weekend against Maryland. … Look at this awesome 1948 letter — on even more awesome 1948 letterhead — about Olympian Bob Mathias’s track suit (tremendous find by Bill Kellick). … New NASL kit for the Carolina Railhawks (from Kenn Tomasch). … This is fun: the first installment in a series of “Bobbleheads We’d Like to See” (from Joseph Williams). … The Gold Coast Suns — that’s Aussie football — debuted their new clash jumper in their preseason first round match, and so did Carlton Blues (from Leo Strawn). … Andrew Shaw of the Blackhawks suffered a torn jersey after a fight toward the end of Friday’s game against the Sharks (from Raymie Humbert). … Chris Cruz sent along some good info on Indy Car belts: “For several years the belts have shown the flag of the driver’s home nation along with the his name. But Dan Wheldon’s old suit (this would have been 2006-08 time frame) has the flag on the suit itself, as he did not actually have a belt. Danica Patrick, of course, is used to having the stars and stripes on her belt. Interestingly, she continues to wear it today as a NASCAR driver. Contrast that with Kevin Harvick, whose belt is more like that of the other drivers.” … Great footage of the Marlins’ old teal batting helmets and Benito Santiago’s No. 09 jersey in this video clip (from Thom Armitage). … No photo, but Andre Torres says Alabama State baseball player Dexter Price doesn’t wear batting gloves. … The Alabama Hammers — that’s a low-level arena football team — have a case of Oregon envy (from Dustin Semore). … Interesting info about fire hydrant color schemes here (from William Yurasko). … There’s been another federal bust of fake NFL merch. … “I am in Brazil doing field work and it turns out there is an American Football League here,” says Emilio Bruna. “They have some interesting name, logo, and uniform choices.” … Interesting story about a manufacturer of gear for cycling, triathlons, running, skiing and wrestling (from Mark Medinger). … Here’s a new one, at least to me: a Washington Ambassadors WFL prototype helmet (from Bruce Menard). … Here’s something you don’t often see: NBA jerseys with nameplate. And man, brutal lettering on Jack Sikma’s NOB (from Ryan Mackman). … Someone with a 3-D printer appears to have designed an Indianapolis Colts ice cube tray (from Adam Herbst). … Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher is still wearing last year’s postseason logo on his helmet (from Tony Burke). … Two color-vs.-color games in college baseball: Clemson vs. Wright State and Georgia Southern vs. Indiana (from Derek Summerville and Luke Parks, respectively). … For the first time in their history, the Knicks roster has players numbered 1 through 9 (from Robert, who didn’t give his last name). … Someone please tell the MLB Network that the Blue Jays no longer use this logo (from Jason Christie). … “I updated my Blackhawks app last night and noticed they went with a CCM tag for the jersey graphic they use as the opening splash screen,” says Matt Shepardson. … Rich Paloma recently dug out some old MLB dugout lineup cards that he had collected back in the 1970s. … There’s a bit of controversy over new airline staff uniforms in Turkey. … The Penguins wore G.I. Joe warm-up jerseys last night, and their Scranton-Wilkes Barre affiliate wore flag-desecration jerseys (from Mike Slavonic).